Scientists looked into the sex lives of thousands of men and women to get answers. 

By Samantha Lauriello
April 03, 2019

Sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll make up a classic trio. We might not be able to tell you much about the rock 'n' roll part (sorry, we're not a music site), but we can tell you what drugs people take before a sex session. A new study looked into the sex lives of thousands of people to find out which drugs are most commonly used to heat things up between the sheets. 

The study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, used data from the 2013 Global Drug Survey, an annual survey of the drug habits of people from multiple countries, including the US and UK. Over 22,000 people took part in the survey, answering questions like if they've used drugs before sex and if they used them to specifically to enhance sex.

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This probably won't surprise you, but the researchers determined that alcohol was the substance most people used before taking it to the bedroom. Roughly 60% of respondents said they drank before sex at least once. Cannabis came in second, with about 37% of men and 26% of women saying they smoked herb before bumping and grinding.

MDMA, also known as ectasy, was third, followed by cocaine, ketamine, poppers (alkyl nitrites), and Viagra (sildenafil citrate). 

The researchers also found that participants from the UK were most likely to take drugs before sex, compared with respondents from the US, Australia, Canada, and other European countries. 

Another important finding: Men and women of all sexual orientations reported using drugs before sex. The study's lead author, Will Lawn, a researcher at University College London's department of psychology and language sciences, said in a statement that messages about substance-linked sex have long targeted gay and bisexual men, but in reality, those messages are relevant to all groups.

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The statement also noted that because the survey participants volunteered to take part in the research (rather than being randomly selected), the estimates of use will likely be higher than that of the general population. 

One more interesting study tidbit: Participants reported that club drugs like MDMA and GHB/GBL made for the most pleasurable sexual experiences. MDMA was associated with making the action more intimate, and GHB/GBL was deemed the best for boosting one’s sexual desires, according to the survey respondents.

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